Bolton Wanderers: Championship strugglers live to fight another day as prospective buyer Laurence Bassini attends High Court


Bolton Wanderers: Championship strugglers live to fight another day as prospective buyer Laurence Bassini attends High Court

Bolton Wanderers’ High Court hearing has been adjourned and the club given five weeks to clear their debts.

The case has been delayed to allow a prospective sale of the club to be completed.

This is the sixth time in the last 18 months that Bolton have faced a winding-up petition. The latest one was issued in February by HMRC over debts of £1.2million.

Bolton have been given extra time to pay their debts

Current owner Ken Anderson had refused to name the prospective buyer, but on Wednesday it was revealed to be former Watford chairman Laurence Bassini.

The club’s barrister Hilary Stonefrost told the court: “The prospective purchaser is here.”

She added that Bassini, whose controversial tenure at Vicarage Road lasted only 13 months, “has proof of funds”.

Bolton chairman Ken Anderson is eager to sell the club

Mr Bassini declined to comment before he was driven away from the court in a white Rolls-Royce.

Bassini was banned from holding a position of authority at an English Football League club for three years in 2013 for alleged financial misconduct.

He told the Telegraph he had been unfairly treated, saying: “Very shortly, I’m going to be naming and shaming and producing – that has taken me six years – the evidence to show how dishonest people were and how I was made to be a scapegoat.”

Bolton have already faced winding-up petitions over unpaid tax and VAT in the last 18 months.

They won a similar stay of execution in the High Court three years ago to allow previous owner Sports Shield BWFC to complete a last-minute takeover.

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Current owner Anderson bought a stake in the club during that buyout and took majority control in 2017 after Sports Shield went into liquidation.

The club’s players went on strike this week for the second time in a year after staff were not paid in March.

It is the second month in a row that Bolton employees have not been paid on time.